Following the example of Good King Wenceslas, but a week or so before the Feast of Stephen, the Rev Dr Ron Elsdon, rector of St Bartholomew’s Church, set out to brave the hazards of travel across Belfast to visit St Andrew’s Church on the city’s North–Western frontier.
Being the wise man that he is, and, no doubt, following his celestial satnav, Ron brought gifts from the saints in St Bartholomew’s to the residents of Glencairn, especially the elderly and infirm. (Although, rather than following the traditional route of wise men from the east, he came from the south.)
Instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh the gifts comprised hampers of seasonal food for distribution to needy people in the parish (much more useful than scented candles and perfume, don’t you think?)
The hampers were distributed by staff and parishioners of St Andrew’s. This is the second year in succession that St Bartholomew’s have collected food and brought it as a gift to St Andrew’s at Christmas. They also donated hand crafted articles to augment St Andrew’s Christmas sale of work. This kindness is very much appreciated; a big thank you to St Bartholomew’s! Even though Ron is retiring soon, the parishioners of both parishes will continue to pray for one another and to help one another in their Christian witness.